Home | News    Wednesday 9 April 2014

Lakes: Gunfire at Wulu commissioner’s wedding sparks panic

April 8, 2014 (WULU) Residents of Wako villages in the Domulot, Domanjo and Tonjo bomas (districts) fled into hiding on Monday night after gunfire erupted following the Wulu county commissioner’s marriage to a 17-year-old school girl.

Villages in Tonjo boma were caught by surprise after hearing heavy gunfire, with stray bullets ricocheting off residential houses.

Eyewitness said that panicked residents had fled from their homes in the middle of the night, with one woman injuring herself after she hit her head on a tree while fleeing.

Another eyewitness, who requested anonymity, said that members of the bridegroom’s family fired into the air in celebration after the nuptials.

It’s believed commissioner Benjamin Akol was travelling through Domulot and Domanjo en route to Tonjo boma with his new bride when the incident occurred.

The local community has accused the commissioner of illegally providing alcohol to his in-laws and relatives to celebrate the marriage, flouting a state-wide alcohol ban imposed in Lakes state’s eight counties by caretaker governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol after his appointment in January last year.

The commissioner is believed to have spent more than 15,000 South Sudanese pounds on the wedding, with witnesses reporting that Akol had supplied five jerrycans of Siko and locally made brew, as well 20 crates of beer for his in-laws.

The police services criminal investigation department (CID) confirmed the incident, but sources said police did not intend to investigate the matter further amid fears officers could be sacked by the commissioner.

A CID officer, who requested anonymity, said a number of people were still missing following incident.

Lakes state authorities have not commented on the shooting incident.

Dhuol’s tough security measures and policies have proved increasingly unpopular in Lakes state and there are calls for him to step down.

Police have insisted that young people and the wider public refuse to share information with them, blaming the poor relationship between the administration and the people of Lakes state.

(ST)